Now with Remote Parental Unit

A replacement key for my car runs into three digits, because there’s an electronic chip hidden therein. A scanner on the dash looks for the chip, and if the chip isn’t found more or less where it’s supposed to be, the car won’t start.

Still, a single-function chip like that is just so last decade, compared to this:

Ford Motor will roll out a feature on many 2010 models that can limit teen drivers to 80 mph, using a computer chip in the key.

Parents also have the option of programming the teen’s key to limit the audio system’s volume, and to sound continuous alerts if the driver doesn’t wear a seat belt.

The feature, called “MyKey,” will debut on the 2010 Focus compact car.

A more elegant system, perhaps, than the parental controls used on my generation, which can be summed up as “Own vehicles so dorky that the kids won’t even want to be seen in them, let alone drive them.”

Still, I think Ford missed a good bet here. My idea of MyKey would also include a defeat switch for the audio system tone controls, making it impossible to crank up the bass to the sort of window-rattling levels that rattle your windows in the next lane over.


  1. McGehee »

    13 October 2008 · 9:45 am

    What’s wrong with a MyKey that will only open that padlock on the bicycle chain?

  2. Jeffro »

    14 October 2008 · 6:54 pm

    Dad had a policy that seemed to work fairly well – the “My Boot in Your A** If You Screw Up.” He didn’t need a specially programmed key for me.

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